Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mexico City, Day 1.5: Walking Along Reforma

I suppose in hindsight this one should really be Day 1.0 and the Ricky Martin concert should be 1.5, but I wrote that one first and I'm not changing it, so we'll all just have to deal with it.

Anyway, sometime between exiting the plane and arriving at the concert, we found time to check into the hotel, nap, shower, and see a little of the city, being the super vacationers that we are.

So what did we see? Glad (to pretend) that you asked!

Our hotel of choice was the Hotel Emporio, located on Paseo de La Reforma. We reserved a room here not really knowing much about the area other than that it was pretty central to a lot of the things we wanted to see, so we were relieved to find that it was located in a safe, clean, and active part of the city. In fact, La Reforma is such a happening place that our first afternoon was spent just exploring this one street.

The Feria de Las Culturas Amigas bore a passing resemblance to April's Feria Internacional Gastronomica...but only in passing. Hosting 64 countries over a period of 15 days, Mexico City's feria easily overshadowed Guadalajara's 1 day, 20 some-odd country event.

Organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the event's purpose was to promote respect for cultural diversity, pluralism, and richness of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. That's all well and good, but so far as I can tell, proceeds did not go to charity, so Guadalajara scored some points there. But we were able to snag an awesome seder plate at the Israel both, so mega points to Mexico City.

As we perused the booths we had to dodge and weave our way through countless bicyclers, rollerbladers, and joggers. For, you see, this was Sunday. And we quickly learned that, as in Guadalajara, Sunday mornings in Mexico City are reserved for the RecreAtiva.

Basically what this means is that certain streets are closed off to traffic and opened up to the exercise-minded members of the community. In Guadalajara this takes the form of the Vía RecreActiva, which we have done a couple of times but has not found its way into this blog (yet). In Mexico City, it is called the Muévete en Bici, and consists of a 24km trek along Reforma.

The Fountain of Diana the Huntress (aka The Northern Star Shooter) was built in 1942 as part of a city beautification initiative. During more conservative times, bronze pants were actually fashioned for the statue...

...but she seems to be a bit more free wheeling these days.

El Ángel de la Independencia ("The Angel of Independence") is one of the most beloved monuments in the city and plays host to many events, both joyous and controversial. During our week in Mexico City, we saw both a PETA protest and a feria-sponsored rock concert occur at the base of the statue.

The monument commemorates the centennial of Mexico's 1910 War of Independence, and at one time acted as a mausoleum for that war's most recognized heroes. The bodies have been relocated...a subject that will be touched upon in an upcoming post...

..but for now, it's bed time. I must say, a month off from serious blogging, combined with the late hour, makes for one tired Aaron.

Hasta luego, y'all!

1 comment:

  1. I love the Muévete en Bici! Can you imagine that in DC?!!!